RTTNews - Friday, a preliminary estimate from the European Union statistics office indicated that Euro area consumer prices logged zero growth in May, which was the lowest since records began in 1996, raising deflationary concerns in the economy. In the UK, a survey found that UK house prices rose unexpectedly in May to record the largest increase since October 2007.

Eurozone

Eurozone annual inflation remained flat in May versus 0.6% in April. Economists had expected consumer prices to rise 0.2% year-on-year in May from the previous year. The Eurostat is slated to issue the final data on June 16.

The annual growth rate of Eurozone M3 money supply eased to 4.9% in April from 5% in March, the European Central Bank said. Meanwhile, economists had expected money supply to grow 4.5%.

In other news, the European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the ECB expects to engage in a scheme of buying euro-denominated covered bonds worth EUR 60 billion.

Germany's Federal Statistical Office announced that the retail sales in real terms increased 0.5% month-on-month in April, compared with a 0.4% drop in the preceding month. The April retail sales came in line with economists' expectations.

Italian consumer price annual inflation including tobacco eased to 0.9% in May from 1.2% in April, a preliminary report from statistical office Istat showed. That was in line with the consensus forecast. Separately, the agency announced that producer prices fell 4.6% year-on-year in April following a downwardly revised 4% contraction in March.

Statistics Portugal said in a report that the industrial production decreased 9.9% year-over-year in April, compared with a 13.5% fall in March, revised from 7.6% drop reported initially.

The Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus said industrial production dropped 5.1% year-on-year in March, after an 8.5% decline in the preceding month. The agency also reported that the output price index dropped 0.2% year-on-year in April, after a 0.9% rise in March.

The Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia said the retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 2.5% month-on-month in April, slower than the 6.7% increase in the previous month. The agency said import prices fell 0.9% month-on-month in April. The jobless rate stood at 5.4% in the first quarter, up from 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Consumer prices in Slovenia rose 0.7% year-on-year in May, slower than a 1.1% rise in the previous month.

Slovakia's economic sentiment indicator decreased 2.5 percentage points from April to 66.3 in May, to reach its lowest value since the series began in January 1997, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic said.

Rest of Europe

A report from the Nationwide Building Society said the UK's house price index rose 1.2% in May from the prior month, reversing a 0.3% decline reported in April. House prices increased for the second time in three months. Economists were looking for a monthly decline of 0.9%.

British carmakers received more than 35,000 orders for new cars through the scrappage scheme since it was announced in April, reports said. The car scrappage scheme, started on May 18, allows drivers to scrap their cars that are more than 10 years old, in return for a GBP 2,000 discount on a new car.

A monthly survey from the research group GfK NOP showed that consumer confidence in the U.K. stood stable at minus 27 in May. Economists had expected the index to rise to minus 25.

Switzerland's KOF economic think said its economic barometer stood at minus 1.86 in May, the same reading as in April. It was the lowest level recorded since the beginning of the times series in 1991. Economists had forecast a reading of minus 1.78 for May.

Statistics Norway announced that the jobless rate stood at 3.2% in March, measured by the average of three months from February to April period, larger than the 2.9% in December, measured by the average of three months from November to January. The jobless rate came in line with economists' expectations.

Separately, the agency said the retail sales volume rose a seasonally adjusted 1.5% in April from the previous month. In March, retail sales were down 0.7%. Economists expected sales to rise 0.6%.

Statistics Iceland said the trade surplus stood at ISK 16.9 billion in the January to April period, up from ISK 37.8 billion deficit in the previous year.

Poland's Central Statistical Office said the gross domestic product or GDP rose 0.8% year-over-year in the first quarter, slower than the 2.9% increase in the previous quarter. The GDP came in line with economists' expectations.

Statistics Denmark said in a report that the jobless rate increased to a seasonally adjusted 3.3% in April from 2.9% in March. Economists expected the rate to be 3.2%.

The Czech Statistical Office said industrial output dipped 23.2% year-on-year in April, after a 17% fall in the preceding month.

Statistics Sweden said GDP dropped a working day adjusted 6.5% year-over-year in the first quarter, compared with a 4.9% fall in the previous quarter. Economists were looking for a decline of 6.6%.

Hungary's Central Statistical Office announced that the producer price index or PPI rose 7.2% year-over-year in April, slower than the 9.1% increase in the previous month. Economists were looking for an increase of 8.3%.

The Estonian Institute of Economic Research said its economic sentiment indicator for the country rose to 75 in May from 69 in April as all of its sub indicators showed notable improvements.

Elsewhere, Statistics Estonia said retail sales at constant prices declined 15% year-on-year in April to EEK4.6 billion, reflecting a drop in sales from most economic activities. The country's industrial output dropped a working day adjusted 33.7% year-on-year in April, after falling about 30% in February and March.

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